MassMutual Reports Record $1.7 Billion Dividend Payout
SPRINGFIELD — MassMutual’s board of directors approved an estimated dividend payout of $1.7 billion for 2016 to its eligible participating policyowners — a nearly $100 million increase over 2015, and the fourth consecutive year it has reached a new record. The 2016 payout also reflects a competitive dividend interest rate of 7.1% for eligible participating life and annuity blocks of business, maintaining the same rate as both 2014 and 2015.
“Today is a special day where the commitment we’ve made our policyowners is brought to life through our annual dividend payout,” said Roger Crandall, MassMutual’s chairman, president, and CEO. “Through nearly our entire history, our policyowners have received an annual dividend regardless of what is happening in our world — whether it’s through world wars, pandemics, market crashes, and most recently, a historically low interest-rate environment where even three-month Treasury bills are yielding zero percent.”
While dividends are not guaranteed, MassMutual has consistently paid them to eligible participating policyowners since the 1860s. The 2016 dividend marks nearly two decades that the company has consecutively announced an estimated dividend payout exceeding $1 billion.
“As a mutual company, operating for the benefit of our policyowners and members, we are thrilled to share our collective and cooperative success,” Crandall said. “Our consistent payment of dividends is proof of the enduring financial strength and stability we provide, as well as the resiliency of our long-term strategy.”
Among the key contributors to MassMutual’s dividend payout are its retirement-services and international insurance businesses, as well as its asset-management subsidiaries, such as Babson Capital Management LLC, Baring Asset Management Limited, Cornerstone Real Estate Advisers LLC, and OppenheimerFunds Inc.
The estimated payout also occurs at a time when the company’s financial-strength ratings are among the highest in the industry and its total adjusted capital as of June 30, 2015 — a key indicator of overall financial stability — surpassed $17 billion for the first time in the company’s history.
Of the estimated $1.7 billion dividend payout, an estimated $1.65 billion has been approved for eligible participating policyowners who have purchased whole life insurance. MassMutual had its ninth consecutive record year of growth in whole-life policy sales in 2014 with $418 million, and sales of whole life continue to be strong through the first three quarters of 2015.
In addition to receiving the dividend payouts in cash, other ways whole-life insurance policyowners may use the dividends include paying premiums, buying additional insurance coverage, accumulating at interest, or repaying policy loans and policy-loan interest.
“Whole life insurance enables people to plan for both the expected and unexpected events in their lives, whether it’s leaving a legacy for loved ones or using cash value to help fund a college education or fill an income gap in retirement,” said Michael Fanning, executive vice president and head of MassMutual’s U.S. Insurance Group. “We have provided millions of people with financial resources they can use to chart a course through these turbulent times, further proof that, whether bulls or bears are driving the market, policyowners have received their dividend payout from MassMutual.”